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Navy and Marine Corps Medical News
December 8, 2000
Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly
compendium of news and information contributed by commands
throughout the Navy medical department . Information contained in
MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered
official Navy policy.
BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps
families. Further distribution is highly encouraged.
Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy
medical professional 's name to show affiliation: MC — Medical
Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse Corps; MSC -
Medical Service Corps (clinicians , researchers and
administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and Dental
Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of their names.
Contents for this week's MEDNEWS:
- DOD further slows anthrax vaccination effort
- RADM Potter receives Laureate award
- TSC Great Lakes named heroes of TRICARE
- Food pathogens are easier to detect with new technology
- Naval Medical Center hosts trauma symposium
- TRICARE question and answer
- Healthwatch: Good posture boosts energy
Headline: DOD further slows anthrax vaccination effort
From Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
WASHINGTON - The Department of Defense (DoD) will further
slow its Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP) . This
action is consistent with its previously announced plan to do so
if supply was not increased by year's end. This further slowing
reduces vaccinations in all theaters except Southwest Asia.
This move is necessary to conserve available vaccine
supply while protecting those service members at greatest risk
and maintaining a contingency reserve for unexpected domestic or
A full resumption of the vaccination effort will begin
when a sufficient supply of FDA-approved and certified safe and
effective vaccine is available next year.
Anthrax remains the top biological warfare threat to U.S.
troops and vaccination is the safest, most reliable way to
protect service members from a potential threat that is 99
percent lethal to unprotected, untreated individuals. More than
495, 000 service members have started their vaccinations and
nearly two million vaccinations have been given.
While progress continues to be made in the re— licensing
effort at Bioport, it is unlikely that production will resume in
time to allow maintaining a contingency reserve without the
additional slowdown .
According to Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Randall L. West, senior
advisor to the deputy secretary of Defense for Chemical and
"We are now focusing our vaccination efforts on those
members serving in areas deemed to be at greatest risk, and that
is Southwest Asia. We take this action to responsibly manage
our limited supply of anthrax vaccine while we continue our
efforts toward FDA licensing of the anthrax vaccine production
facility and resumed vaccine production. West said. "
Headline: RADM Potter receives Laureate award
From Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
WASHINGTON - RADM Bonnie Potter, Fleet Surgeon, U.S.
Atlantic Fleet, was recently awarded the Laureate award for her
abiding commitment to excellence in education, research and
The award, presented by the American College of
Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) in
the U.S. Navy Region, honors fellows with a long history of
excellence and peer approval in the specialty of internal
"Admiral Potter has been a loyal supporter of the ACP and
has rendered distinguished service to the region and upheld the
high ideals and professional standards for which the ACP-ASIM is
known, " said Capt. Angeline Lazarus, Governor, U.S. Navy Region.
Potter began her medical career in the Navy, completed her
internship and residency in internal medicine at the Naval
Regional Medical Center, Oakland, CA. Her years of dedication to
Navy Medicine later elevated her to Commander, National Naval
Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. , and Chief, Medical Corps, Bureau
of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, DC.
In December 1999, Potter reported as Fleet Surgeon, U.S.
Atlantic Fleet. Additional duties include Command Surgeon, U.S.
Joint Forces Command and Medical Advisor, Allied Command,
Headline: TSC Great Lakes named heroes of TRICARE
By LT Youssef Aboul-Enein, Naval Hospital Great Lakes
The TRICARE Service Center Great Lakes was awarded the
Heroes of TRICARE award this week for its commitment to 100
percent customer satisfaction.
The TRICARE Management Activity, which runs the program
nationwide for the Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs,
recognizes a person or organization that contributes to the
success of TRICARE within their region.
The 14 staff members who make up the Great Lakes TRICARE
Service Center have taken the "Treat Everyone As Me (TEAM) "
approach in solving complex health benefits issues and providing
rapid access to beneficiaries in the Great Lakes region.
"If a beneficiary has a problem with mounting healthcare
costs, billing problems or getting specialized care that is not
provided by the military, they are referred to the TRICARE
Service Center, which helps them solve their issues and get the
most out of their hard-earned health benefits, " said Ms. Janet
Geller, TRICARE Area Manager.
Geller attributes this success not only to her staff who
fully appreciate military families wanting to get care for their
loved ones but also to the fact that the Service Center is
located within the Naval Hospital, making access to these health
benefits experts quick and convenient.
"The TRICARE Service Center staff at Great Lakes receive
100 referrals weekly, 75 walk-ins daily and 190 telephone calls
per day. Each is an opportunity to implement a positive
attitude for change, " said CAPT Elaine Holmes, MC, Naval
Hospital Great Lakes Commanding Officer.
The hospital also requires all newly reporting members
checking into Naval Training Center Great Lakes to visit the
TRICARE Service Center in an effort to orient new families to
healthcare options available in this region.
These Heroes of Healthcare will receive a letter from Dr.
James Sears, TRICARE Management Activity Director and will be
honored at the annual Department of Defense TRICARE Conference
Headline : Food pathogens are easier to detect with new technology
From Naval Medical Research Center
SILVER SPRING, Md - Capturing and identifying the germs
that cause thousands of cases of food poisoning in the United
States every year may soon become faster and more accurate
following the testing of new technologies developed by the U.S.
A collaborative research agreement between Rocky Mountain
Resource Labs and the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) will
validate improved methods for detecting four dangerous food
pathogens: Salmonella, Listeria, E. Coli, and Campylobacter.
The project links two new food safety technologies . One,
developed by NMRC, can detect and quantify any of the four
pathogens in 24 hours or less. The second is a vacuum-san^ling
unit developed by the Rocky Mountain Resource Lab. The vacuum
lifts pathogens from cracks and crevices in foods and other
surfaces, enhancing the accuracy of microbial sampling .
Both partners hope to improve methods for identifying and
quantifying pathogens in food to reduce the public health risks.
Headline: Naval Medical Center hosts fourth annual trauma
By J02 Stacie Rose, Naval Medical Center San Diego
SAN DIEGO - The Naval Medical Center here hosted its
fourth annual Trauma Symposium last month, entitled "Bringing
21st Century Trauma Care to the Low Intensity Theatre. "
The event was sponsored by the medical center and
supported by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Office of the
Lead Agent for TRICARE Region 9, and the Henry M. Jackson
The two-day symposium was broadcast around the world by
satellite and viewed at 88 sites across the country, with nearly
900 viewers nationwide. This year, an audience response system
(ARS) allowed 250 people in the medical center's auditorium to
answer questions. The distribution of responses was instantly
analyzed and displayed.
"This brought the audience into the conference and
contributed to the conference's success, " said Cmdr. Lawrence
Roberts, one of the event coordinators.
In the courtyard. Camp Pendleton's Fleet Hospital
Operations and Training Command set up a mock fleet hospital,
complete with high— tech trauma mannequins, and the latest
technology in military medicine .
Four computers were used to demonstrate web-based and CD-
ROM trauma training tools that are now available.
Breakout sessions where medical corps and nurse corps
personnel, and hospital corpsmen were separated for 90 minutes,
then reunited, proved to be a valuable tool to discuss subtle
differences in approaches and management .
"I believe conferences such as this enhance our ability as
military healthcare teams and strengthen our resolve for
readiness training, " said Roberts.
Headline: TRICARE question and answer
Question: If my family moves to a different region, are we
(active duty) automatically assigned a new Primary Care Manager,
or do we have to re— enroll?
Answer: Enrollment in TRICARE Prime entails the assignment
of a Primary Care Manager, enrollment in DEERS, and
communication with the member on what enrollment in the TRICARE
program means. For active duty members, enrollment is automatic .
For active duty family members, enrollment in TRICARE Prime is
on a voluntary basis.
Currently, if you move to a different region, you will have
up to 30 days at the new site to enroll . Your old region will
cover you for care until you enroll at the new region. Enrolled
members will start a new 12-month enrollment period.
Headline: Good posture boosts energy
From TRICARE Management Activity
WASHINGTON - You may think it 's more comfortable and
restful to slouch while using your keyboard or to lean on your
desk with your elbows while reading. But in the long run, it
isn ' t .
In fact, poor posture, the stress of leaning over
paperwork and straining to peer at computer screens may
eventually cause muscle tension, stiffness, backaches, neck
cramps and fatigue. Such habits can even lead to more serious
problems such as spine disorders or pinched nerves.
Slouching can overstretch the ligaments that support your
spine. Cradling a telephone receiver between your head and
shoulder can give you a stiff, sore neck. Sitting in one
position for long periods can reduce circulation in your
muscles, increasing fatigue and stiffness and setting you up for
Here are the major components of healthy and energizing-
posture: Whether sitting or standing, keep your ears, shoulders
and hips stacked in a straight line to keep the natural curves
of your spine in its normal, balanced alignment . Adjust your
chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a
footstool . Avoid crossing your legs.
Slide your chair under your desk so you won't have to lean
too far forward. If your chair is at a comfortable height, your
knees will be level with or slightly lower than your hips.
Support your lower back with the back of your chair.
For additional support use a cushion, lumbar roll or
rolled up towel and place it in the small of your back. Place
books and papers in a book stand or document holder the same
distance from you as your computer screen. Make sure such
documents and the computer screen are at or slightly below eye
Do not cradle the telephone receiver between your head and
shoulder, use a headset or speakerphone or simply hold it to
your ear with your hand. Stretch about once an hour. Avoid
staying in one position for hours at a time. Stand up, breathe
deeply, stretch and shake out the kinks.
Just a few minutes an hour should stimulate circulation
and keep you limber. You may accomplish a lot at work despite
bad posture, but you'll get a surprising energy boost and be
able to accomplish even more when you practice good posture.
Good posture contributes to deep breathing, healthy organ
function and good circulation — all great energy boosters.
It may take a little practice, but the return in comfort
and energy will go a long way toward helping you look and feel
your best .
Comments and ideas for MEDNEWS are welcome . Story Submissions
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